Impeaching Trump as a T-Shirt Slogan: That’s All They Got?
Dov Fischer
by
Merchandise at a 2017 May Day rally in New York City (Christopher Penler/Shutterstock.com)

That’s it? You mean, after more than three years of impeaching President Donald J. Trump, all the Pelosi Dems could come up with is “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress”? What a joke!

The Constitution is clear:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article II, Section 4. That’s what the thing says. Those are the rules, the criminal code. That’s it.

After three years, they could not find any treason charge to throw at him. Turns out that, unlike Adam Schiff’s lies echoed by the Corrupt Journalist Corps, neither Trump nor his campaign colluded with the Russians. Unlike John Brennan, the communist advocate who voted for Gus Hall for president and whom Obama predictably named head of the CIA, Trump always has been an American patriot. So no treason.

But no bribery? Three years to find bribery — searching into the hotels, casinos, and golf courses. Maybe bribery in a phone call to Ukraine? Nope. No bribery.

That leaves high crimes and misdemeanors. Go ahead and define those. The Federalist Papers help give insight into what the drafters intended, but the Andrew Johnson impeachment instead aimed at him on grounds that he had fired a cabinet member in violation of the specious Tenure of Office Act. The Senate acquitted him. Twenty years later, Congress repealed the questionable law. Ultimately, a similar issue came before the United States Supreme Court in 1926 in Myers v. United States, and SCOTUS ruled for the president and stated that the repealed Tenure of Office Act had been unconstitutional. So no high crime or misdemeanor there. In 1998, the Republicans tried to get Bill Clinton on a different “high crime or misdemeanor” — lying under oath to avoid admitting sexual improprieties. He got disbarred for the perjury, but the Senate acquitted him on the higher required standard.

And now the Dems come up with “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” Just like a new T-shirt meme: 

My taxes paid three years of salaries for a congressional representative and a full slate of his or her congressional staffers, travel, meals, health care, and offices in Washington, D.C., and in my home district so that they could reduce the costs of my prescription drugs, make fixes to my health care, adopt legislation to improve trade and the economy, fund the military, and fix our border problem — and all I got was “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” 

So let’s call a spade a spade. It is all too common for all kinds of people with power to abuse power. Power corrupts. Bosses abuse their power. In-laws in the early years of a marriage abuse their power. People with a microphone abuse power. Receptionists at medical offices abuse power. Secretaries to important people abuse power. The people who pick up the garbage. The gardeners with the leaf blowers.

So actually, as a matter of law, we have to be much, much more specific here. In America, the system does not permit prosecutors and persecutors just conceiving new chargeable crimes on the spot. Are we talking about Stalin ordering political enemies to be shot? Hitler sending his team during the Night of the Long Knives to kill his erstwhile allies and political opponents? China or Iran or Syria or communist Cambodia mass-murdering their populations? Are we talking about dictators defying court rulings, imprisoning troublesome judges and reporters?

Are we talking about a Clinton or Kennedy who abuses his power to assault vulnerable women? Or an Obama who abuses his power to weaponize the IRS against his political opponents, to declare criminals innocent before they are investigated, who sneaks 400 million dollars in cash on a plane to Iran, who conveys a message to Vladimir Putin that he will make all kinds of unilateral concessions right after he gets finished with the inconvenience of elections, who has reporters and news agencies like the Associated Press secretly investigated, who earmarks more than a million dollars to a hospital that paid his wife for a $316,962 job that never existed before she was hired to hold the position and that disappeared when she did? Who became one of the richest people in the world by starting with accepting favors from the felon Tony Rezko? Oh, and how about Obama closing down the WWII Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the D-Day Memorial, and even setting up cones along a South Dakota highway to block viewing of Mount Rushmore?

Abuse of power?

Or how about an Adam Schiff lying in congressional testimony, falsifying a critical telephone call? Or claiming fraudulently yet publicly that, because of his unique access to secret information as then-ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, he had seen hard evidence that proves conclusively that Trump conspired with the Russians? Or, later as chair of that committee, holding secret hearings outside the purview of the American people, then holding public hearings that deny half the Congress their rights to call rebuttal witnesses and a wide range of other procedural rights?

Abuse of power? Where does such an amorphous allegation begin and where does it end? Is it an abuse of power for Pelosi to hold up the USMCA trade deal for a year, finally flinching and blinking when survey polls show conclusively that the American public is sick of the impeachment and wants the Pelosi Congress finally to accomplish somethinganything, besides just naming post offices and libraries? Is it an abuse of power for Pelosi to begin an impeachment circus in the House Intelligence Committee rather than in the House Judiciary Committee because Schiff is a more shameless and pathological liar than is Nadler, and because the Intelligence Committee can meet in secret? Is it an abuse of power for Nadler to conduct a screwy impeachment process that focuses on having three Trump-hating law professors rant and rant, with one even mocking the very name of Trump’s boy? (And what would she say about a woman who wants to blow up the White House, who named herself “Madonna”?) For a generation that grew up watching the Peter Rodino House Judiciary Committee conduct impeachment hearings during the Nixon presidency — even for those of us who would have wanted Nixon acquitted if he had stuck in it for a Senate trial — what a stark difference the two proceedings have been! There was a bipartisan air of legitimacy throughout the Rodino version. Before Nixon, there was a formal Leon Jaworski report; before Clinton, the Ken Starr report. By contrast, the much-awaited Robert Mueller report proved to be a dud, exonerating President Trump. So the Nadler version is a joke. The guy literally is giving “impeachment” a bad name.

If we are talking about “abuse of power,” the whole lot of them belong in prison. By contrast — and this really is fascinating — Trump is a constitutionalist. He faces the most unimaginably biased federal court system, with case after case being cherry-picked for Obama and Clinton judges who will impose national injunctions that are so very much beyond their constitutional power to order — and yet he always obeys the judges. He dutifully appeals haplessly to the Ninth Circuit, a most unappealing option. He predictably loses — d’uh! And then he waits patiently, watching the grass grow, for matters to reach the Supreme Court for final adjudication. President Trump plays by the rules of the Constitution. He lives with the Pelosi Congress persecuting him day and night, while a real tyrant or dictator long ago would have closed down Congress and had the bunch of them arrested and then shot … or shot and then arrested. The Left gets so absorbed in its own diction and propaganda, amplified by their Corrupt Journalist Corps, that they have no idea how absurd it is to accuse Trump of abusing his power.

From the day he became president, Trump has followed the rules. Yes, he has pushed his legal advisers with questions of “Can’t we do this?” and “Can’t we do that?” And when his attorneys have told him no, he has accepted their bottom lines. It is no crime, not even a wrong, to ask and plead with attorneys, in a brainstorming attorney-client-privileged communication, to do things that go beyond the law — as long as the relationship is rooted in the bottom-line acceptance that, if the attorney says it is illegal, then that ends it.

There has been no abuse of power in the executive branch, but there has been a ton of it in the Democrat Pelosi Congress and in the prior Obama eight-year national mistake. 

Likewise, to find “obstruction of Congress,” one need look no further than the three-headed monster: Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler. It is they who have obstructed Congress from doing anything useful since the Democrats were elected to the House majority a whole year ago. They obstructed USMCA for a year. They are the ones who held secret committee meetings from which other congressional representatives even were barred. It is all such hypocrisy. Oh, for goodness sakes — it was they who called themselves “the Resistance.” Honestly, that word literally is synonymous with obstruction. When you resist, you obstruct. Look it up. Go to freethesaurus.com. Go to collinsdictionary.com. Go ahead to thesaurus.com. Look for synonyms for “resistance.” The word “obstruction” is there. I didn’t call them “the Resistance.” You didn’t. They did. They literally called themselves “the Resistance,” to wit — the Obstructors of Congress.

So it all is a joke. In the federal rules, a trial can be thrown out before it even begins on a motion to dismiss claims for which relief cannot be granted. But I do hope that Mitch McConnell does not move to have the impeachment trial dismissed. Let it be. Let’s have the American people get themselves a civics class in Impeachment 101. Put Hunter Biden on the stand, and let him show the American people what he knows about Ukrainian energy, global warming, climate change, corporate governance, and Chinese corporate governance. To question him properly, the Senate will need to subpoena his last five or 10 years of income taxes — y’know, the same ones that his family court judge has ordered him to produce to the nice pole dancer he met at his favorite strip club, the mother of his child-support obligation.

So let’s have that trial. Let’s have Adam Schiff subpoenaed to testify. Let’s have the much-vaunted and lamented whistleblower who actually was not a whistleblower testify. It would be nice to have a 10-month trial, as the O. J. Simpson trial was, so that we once again could meet all our favorite characters from the past, sort of like a day at Disneyland or the last episode of Seinfeld. Bring ’em all back. Hillary, the server, the yoga instructor, the wedding dresses, and the bleach. Susan Rice and how Benghazi happened and how Bowe Bergdahl served with distinction and honor. Lois Lerner. (Why not?). Huma Abedin. The former Mr. Abedin. All our favorites. Bring them all back. Call them as expert witness on “abuse of power” or on “obstruction of Congress.” Oh — and James Comey, and Andrew McCabe and Strzok and Page, and John Brennan and Clapper. The whole gang. Even Kato Kaelin.

And just warm up some popcorn, sit back, and watch the best show in town.

Dov Fischer
Dov Fischer
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., a high-stakes litigation attorney of more than twenty-five years and an adjunct professor of law of more than fifteen years, is rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. His legal career has included serving as Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerking for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and then litigating at three of America’s most prominent law firms: JonesDay, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. In his rabbinical career, Rabbi Fischer has served several terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, is Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, has been Vice President of Zionist Organization of America, and has served on regional boards of the American Jewish Committee, B’nai Brith Hillel, and several others. His writings on contemporary political issues have appeared over the years in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, National Review, American Greatness, The Weekly Standard, and in Jewish media in American and in Israel. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit.
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